Alternate Title

Spawning Aggregation Sites of Snapper and Grouper Species (Lutjanidae and Serranidae) on the Insular Shelf of Cuba

Document Type



Twenty-one spawning aggregation sites on the Cuban shelf were identified for eight species of snappers (Lutjanus) and groupers (Epinephelus and Mycteroperca) using information from experienced fishers and field studies. Three sites are on the southeastern shelf, eight on the southwest shelf bordering the Golfo de Batabanó, two in the northwest, and eight in the north-central region along the margins of the Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey. These numbers may reflect sampling effort as much as absolute aggregation numbers, with most effort concentrated in the southwest and north-central regions. Additional studies, particularly field assessments, are needed to determine the current status and consistency of occurrence of many of these aggregations. Most sites occur near the shelf drop-off at depths of 20–50 m, over reef substrates. Some sites involve sequential use by multiple species over several seasons of the year. Fishing activities have impacted many of these aggregations, both during spawning events and during pre-spawning migrations. This information is being applied in the design of marine reserve networks for several Cuban archipelagos. Intraspecific variations in aggregation formation occur temporally among differing regions of Cuba. Such variations reinforce the need for expanded research efforts on spawning aggregations.

First Page


Last Page